Car Warranty: Here’s How You May Be Invalidating Yours

Your car warranty is often your only defense against manufacturer faults Unfortunately, you could be accidentally invalidating yours…

What Is Car Warranty?

Under EU legislation, car manufacturers must offer at least two year’s car warranty. This is largely to protect against manufacturer faults i.e. technical or mechanical problems that originate with their own processes and procedures.

It means that, should something go wrong during the warranty period, repairs and corrections will be made free of charge. Beginning at the point of a vehicle’s registration, your policy will expire after a stated number of years or once a mileage restriction is reached. Policies also differ in terms of which components and faults they actually cover. Car warranty differs from car insurance in that it doesn’t cover damage caused by accidents, only internal problems with the vehicle itself.


Car modifications can transform an otherwise dull model into something exciting and personalised. Unfortunately, they practically never make financial sense. As well as the cost of the materials and labour, they’ll potentially invalidate both your insurance and your warranty. It’s not hard to see why.

Automakers only want to take responsibility for their product; that is to say, the vehicle they’ve assembled piece by piece. Modifications involve tampering with a vehicle and potentially damaging it or compromising standard features. Always make sure to check your policy before modifying your car.

Mileage Restrictions

Most car warranty policies are either based on a number of years or a mileage cap. So, it may be that you’re covered for three years or 100,000 miles (which ever comes first). In this case, it’s important to note that after the mileage limit is reached the manufacturer of your car won’t cover repairs under warranty.

Some policies will actually offer unlimited mileage over a given number of years. Either way, it’s crucial that you understand your policy and what it covers before you leave a forecourt. If you happen to buy a used car, it may be possible to transfer the previous owner’s warranty policy; it’s always worth investigating.

Wear And Tear

Many warranty polices won’t cover what the industry calls ‘fair wear and tear.’ This is a bit of a grey area and it’s not always defined in the same way. In most cases, it usually refers to damage that’s expected through use. That means consumables like tyres and fluids are rarely covered.

In addition, damage to the interior or upholstery probably won’t be included in your policy. As far as automakers are concerned, cars naturally deteriorate over time and they can’t be held accountable for everyday wear and tear.

Misuse Of The Vehicle

The way you use your car can invalidate your warranty policy. Taking your vehicle racing or off-roading will almost certainly cause damage that isn’t covered. The same goes for overloading your vehicle whilst towing a trailer or caravan. In other words, ignoring the law or what’s specified in your owner’s manual is unwise.

Restrictions will vary between models and policies so, if in doubt, never be afraid to investigate. Whilst warranty for a city car is unlikely to cover off-roading, the situation is likely to be different for a 4×4.

A Lack Of Documentation

Servicing and properly maintaining your vehicle is important in keeping your car warranty valid. Unfortunately, manufacturers are unlikely to take your word for it. Which is why it’s so important to keep a paper trail; to evidence the work your vehicle has received. For instance, if you use a local, independent garage you’ll need to evidence that they used approved parts when making repairs. Keep documents illustrating all your services, too.

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The Autoserve Club can save you time, money and stress. Club Members can receive discounts on servicing and new tyres and will gain access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.

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